Colorectal Cancer, the third most common cancer among both men and women
in the United States, may be prevented by regular screenings.1 Regular screening is the most effective way of detecting colorectal cancer
and when found early, it is highly treatable. Ninety percent of all individuals
diagnosed with colorectal cancer at an early stage are still alive 5 years later.2
Colorectal cancer begins as a growth, known as a polyp. Polyps may take
10 to 15 years to become cancer. If the polyp is detected during the screening
process, the entire polyp is removed, stopping it from becoming cancerous.
Studies show that more than 1 in 3 adults age 50 and older are not getting
tested as recommended.
Risk factors for developing colorectal cancer include the following:
Age-Colorectal cancer is more common in people over the age of 50
Personal and Family History- People who have a parent, sibling or child with colorectal cancer are
at a higher risk of developing it themselves
Race-African American men and women are at higher risk
Inflammatory bowel disease- People with IBD (which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease)
are at a higher risk
Lifestyle-Being overweight, having a sedentary lifestyle, a diet high in red meat
and processed meat, smoking, and heavy alcohol use can increase colorectal
A colonoscopy is considered the best screening method available. Other
screening methods also exist. The American Cancer Society recommends:
Colonoscopy every 10 years
Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) every 5 years
Fecal occult blood test (FOBT) every year
Fecal immunochemical test (FIT) every year
Stool DNA test (Cologuard) every 3 years
Double-contrast barium enema every 5 years
At FHCP, this preventive screening is a covered benefit and most times
can be conveniently scheduled in your Primary Care Physician office. Please
call your PCP today to schedule your screening.
1American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures 2017. Atlanta: American
Cancer Society; 2017.
2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Colorectal Cancer Control Program:
About the program. Published August 17, 2016. Accessed December 2016.
3American Cancer Society. Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts
& Figures 2015-2016. 2016 Update. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2016.